Working again with Danny Boyle, his "Slumdog Millionaire" cohort, Simon Beaufoy should know how to live the high life -- given the number of awards that little movie swept through a couple years ago. But, it seems, Beaufoy's not yet ready to act like a big shot. So, where was he when he learned that their latest film together, "127 Hours," had pulled in a few Golden Globes nominations, including one for screenplay?
"Iím in Oxford. I was in bed when I heard about the nomination. I can remember when I found out that I had been nominated for ďThe Full Monty,Ē I was clearing cat sick off the floor. I really must get a more glamorous life one of these days! But Iím afraid that will never happen."
The big fear among award watchers for this movie was that audiences (and hence, voters) wouldn't be able to handle the scene in which lead actor James Franco, playing real-life hiker Aron Ralston, must sever his arm to free himself from the boulder that has pinned him in a canyon. A fear, it turns out, that never crossed Beaufoy's or Boyle's minds.
"The funny thing is, it never occurred to us to worry about that particular thing. Itís because itís the one thing that every single person in the cinema knows is going to happen. Our worry was: How on Earth are we going to give the story momentum when the guyís not moving? How are we going to make them forget what they know happens? The bit thatís caused all the controversy, we didnít worry about at all.
"127 Hours" is just one of many films that are based on real people and events this awards season. But Beaufoy doesn't think it's just voters looking to these kinds of stories, it's the public in general.
"In the midst of global recession," he said, "in the face of uncertainty about whatís going to happen next, film looks for inspiration to real people. And not just our film. This story has been a huge inspiration to me and a lot of people. Itís about never giving up, giving back to people. That people will somehow pull you through. In times of trial, for inspiration, people want to look to real people rather than to fiction."
Simon Beaufoy photo by Genaro Molino / Los Angeles Times